The revised Guidelines for Graduate Education in Amplification were prepared by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Working Group on Audiologic Rehabilitation. Members include Catherine Carotta, Catherine C. Clark, Sue Ann Erdman (chair), Charissa R. Lansing, Mary June Moseley, Joseph J. Montano, Richard Nodar (vice president for professional practices in audiology, monitoring officer), Mark Ross, David J. Wark, and Evelyn J. Williams (ex officio). Approved by ASHA's Legislative Council Audiology/Hearing Science Assembly in 1999, the guidelines are an official policy of ASHA and supersede the 1990 Guidelines for Graduate Education in Amplification. They provide guidance for graduate education in amplification but are not official standards of the Association.
The purpose of this document is to furnish guidelines to which faculty members in audiology training programs can refer when developing and implementing curriculum and practicum experiences in the area of amplification. Specifically, the guidelines are designed to help training programs afford students adequate opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for the provision of audiologic services in amplification as delineated in the Standards for Certification, Scope of Practice, and Preferred Practice Patterns for Audiology.
The guidelines, presented in two sections, outline general and specific areas of knowledge and skills that students should acquire in preparation for clinical service to individuals who may benefit from the use of amplification devices and/or other hearing assistive technology systems (HATS)  . Although a body of knowledge necessarily underlies the comprehension and mastery of skills included herein, there are other areas of knowledge for which specific skills are not associated with, or relevant to, the practice of audiology. Where any question occurs as to acquisition of knowledge versus skill, particularly for the purposes of providing adequate practicum experiences, academicians should consult the ASHA Standards and Implementations for Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (1997), Scope of Practice in Audiology (1996), and Preferred Practice Patterns for the Profession of Audiology (1997) wherein minimal competencies and the requisite knowledge and skills underlying these competencies are outlined. The first section of this document presents areas of general knowledge and skills that students need to acquire. These areas may be prerequisites that provide a foundation on which more specific knowledge and skills can be developed, or they may be ancillary areas of knowledge and skills that complement specific areas of competency. The second section outlines areas of knowledge and skills that are specifically related to amplification.
This document is based on the premise that ASHA certified audiologists who select, fit and dispense amplification devices  are professionals who are qualified to provide rehabilitation services for individuals with hearing impairment. Moreover, although amplification devices and other HATS are focal, they are but one element in the intervention process. The benefits to be achieved from amplification are contingent on the clinician's ability to maximize the appropriateness of, acceptance of, and adjustment to the use of amplification. Competent clinicians look beyond the audiometric findings in recommending and fitting amplification. They consider the full range of communication and psychosocial implications of hearing difficulties so as to ensure that amplification is recommended within a context that is meaningful to the individual. Training must promote acquisition of the knowledge and skills needed to provide not only appropriate amplification but appropriate expectations and appropriate ancillary coping skills so as to maximize adherence to and benefits from the recommended use of amplification.
The following areas of general knowledge and skills constitute basic and supplemental competencies that are required in addition to the specific knowledge and skills one must have for the provision of audiological services in amplification. Curriculum and practicum requirements should ensure that students have adequate opportunity to acquire and demonstrate mastery of:
general science areas, including acoustics, anatomy and physiology of the hearing and speech mechanisms, basic electronics, psychophysical measurement, instrumentation, calibration, computer technology, and statistics and research design
normal auditory and speech-language development
disorders and pathologies of the peripheral and central auditory systems
characteristics of speech, language, voice, oral-motor function, and speech perception associated with congenital and acquired hearing impairment
client/patient management skills, including interpersonal communication, counseling theories and methods, identification of treatment targets and goals, intervention strategies, and follow-up procedures
fundamentals of professional conduct, including an awareness and understanding of ethical standards in clinical and business practice
consumer trends and concerns, as well as cultural differences and biases that affect attitudes toward individuals with disabilities and hearing aids
interview techniques, test interpretation, report writing, and referral procedures
pure tone audiometry, speech audiometry, immittance measures, and site of lesion testing including electrophysiological measures
assessment of communication strengths, limitations, and adjustment problems experienced in relation to hearing impairment for pediatric, adult, and geriatric populations, including additional medical, psychosocial, educational, and vocational concerns
treatment methods for peripheral and central auditory disorders
assessment of treatment efficacy, outcome measures, program evaluation procedures
business and management skills, including billing services, personnel management, insurance coverage and reimbursement policies
The following specific areas of knowledge and skills are those associated with the competencies required in the provision of clinical services related to amplification. Curriculum and practicum requirements in graduate training programs should afford students the opportunities to acquire and demonstrate mastery of the following:
physical characteristics and function of the various types of hearing aids and other assistive amplification devices, including components, batteries, and user controls
electroacoustic characteristics of hearing aids and other assistive amplification devices, including analog/digital circuitry, output limiting, and frequency response
past and current national and international terminology and specification standards
measurement methods for electroacoustic characteristics in compliance with existing ANSI standards
cerumen management procedures
assessment of real ear performance using ear canal probe-tube microphone systems
anatomical, acoustic, and electroacoustic effects on real ear response
acoustic effects of style, shape, and venting of earmolds and hearing aid shells
earmold styles, materials, impression procedures, and modification techniques
styles of in-the-ear hearing aids, impression procedures for hearing aid shells, and modification techniques of shells to alleviate discomfort and other subjective complaints
room acoustics, including the effects of noise, reverberation, and distance on speech intelligibility, environmental modifications, and interactions with amplification devices
determination of candidacy for amplification based on data from case history, interview, hearing disability and handicap assessments, and audiological evaluation
hearing aid evaluation concepts and procedures including:
prescriptive fitting protocols and measurement of real ear performance, programming of hearing aids, and evaluation of aided and unaided performance as appropriate
effects of acoustic and electroacoustic modifications on hearing aid performance and user performance
electroacoustic modification procedures to alleviate specific residual difficulties or subjective fitting complaints
rationale for selection of specific hearing aid configurations and characteristics (e.g., monaural vs. binaural fittings, CROS variations, directional microphones and circuitry to suppress background noise, compression circuitry and other output limiters, and other emergent hearing aid fitting options)
appropriate alternatives and supplements to traditional hearing aid fittings, including vibrotactile aids, cochlear implants, implantable hearing aids, personal and sound-field FM systems, frequency transposer hearing aids, and hearing assistive technology systems
age-appropriate evaluation procedures as well as alternative or modified evaluation procedures for special populations (e.g., individuals in residential care facilities, individuals for whom English is a second language, non-English speakers, and those with sensory integration dysfunction or other concomitant developmental, physical, or learning disabilities)
follow-up procedures, including objective and subjective outcome assessments to establish (a) hearing aid performance, benefit, and satisfaction and (b) postfitting minimization of disabilities and handicap as assessed prefitting
interdisciplinary collaboration to verify acceptance of and benefit from amplification in real-life communication situations (e.g., schools and nursing homes)
responsibilities and procedures that represent accepted standards for hearing aid delivery systems as outlined in the current ASHA Standards and Implementations for Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (1997), Scope of Practice in Audiology (1996), Preferred Practice Patterns for the Profession of Audiology (1997), Code of Ethics (1994), and state regulatory codes
rehabilitative/intervention techniques and requirements, including:
individual and group hearing aid orientation procedures
theory-based approaches to individual, group, family counseling
counseling skills, including effective interpersonal communication, conveyance of genuineness, concern, warmth, and empathy, and the ability to establish rapport, ensure realistic expectations, instill motivation, and promote adherence to treatment recommendations
facilitation of acceptance of amplification and resolution of communication and adjustment problems related to hearing difficulties
early intervention programs and goals for infants, toddlers, and preschool children with impaired hearing
participation in multidisciplinary selection of the appropriate communication mode
facilitation of speech and language development
strategies for management of central auditory processing disorders
strategies for selecting alternative educational options for children and integrating students into the appropriate classroom setting
access to services that use the client's preferred communication modality
promotion of effective communication skills and repair strategies to optimize benefits from amplification in varied listening environments and situations
facilitation of use of visual, auditory, tactile, and combined sensory input to optimize communication performance
responsibilities and procedures in audiologic rehabilitation as recommended and described in current ASHA documents (e.g., Standards and Implementations for Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (1997), Scope of Practice in Audiology (1996), Preferred Practice Patterns for the Profession of Audiology (1997), Guidelines for Hearing Aid Fitting for Adults (1998)
Hearing assistive technology systems (HATS), including large and small space assistive listening devices, classroom amplification, hearing enhancement devices for telephone and TV listening, visual and vibratory signaling and warning devices, text telephone/TTY/TDD, real-time speech captioning, and automatic speech recognition systems
maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of hearing aids, earmolds, and hearing assistive devices
amplification delivery systems, including models for dispensing, interprofessional and interagency relationships, professional certification and licensure, program accreditation, state and federal legislation, and regulations pertaining to the manufacture and sale of hearing aids and related equipment
specific professional responsibilities and procedures in the provision of amplification devices and HATS, including ethical practices, record keeping and documentation, principles of quality assurance, risk management, professional liability, equipment and facilities selection, financing and reimbursement systems, inter- and intra-institution relations and interprofessional relationships, marketing, personnel management, and billing procedures
The appendix contains recommended readings related to the general and specific knowledge and skills sections of this guideline.
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American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1991). Amplification as a remediation technique for children with normal peripheral hearing. Asha, 33(Suppl. 3), 22–24.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1994, March). Guidelines for fitting and monitoring FM systems. Asha, 36(Suppl. 12), 1–9.
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Erdman, S. A. (1994). Self-assessment: From research focus to research tool (monograph). In J.-P. Gagné & N. Tye-Murray (Eds.), Research in audiological rehabilitation: Current trends and future directions (monograph). In J.-P. Gagné & N. Tye-Murray (Eds.), Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology (Vol. 27, pp. 67–90).
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Seewald, R. C. (1992). The desired sensation level method for fitting children: Version 3.0. Hearing Journal, 45(4), 36–41.
Stelmachowicz, P. G., Mace, A. L., Kopun, J. G., & Carney, E. (1993). Long-term and short-term characteristics of speech: Implications for hearing aid selection for young children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 36, 609–620.
Stelmachowicz, P. G., & Seewald, R. C. (1991). Probe-tube microphone measures in children. Seminars in Hearing, 12, 62–72.
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The Pediatric Working Group of the Conference on Amplification for Children with Auditory Deficits. (1996). Amplification for infants and children with hearing loss. American Journal of Audiology, 5(1), 53–68.
Turner, C. W., Humes, L. E., Bentler, R. A., & Cox, R. M. (1996). A review of past research on changes in hearing aid benefit over time. Ear and Hearing, 17(Suppl. 3), 14S–28S.
Tyler, R. S. (Ed.). (1993). Cochlear implants: Audiological foundations. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group.
Tyler, R. S., & Schum, D. J. (1995). Assistive devices for persons with hearing impairment. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Valente, M. (Ed.). (1994). Strategies for selecting and verifying hearing aid fittings. New York: Thieme.
Valente, M. (Ed.). (1996). Hearing aids: Standards, options, and limitations. New York: Thieme.
Valente, M., Potts, L. G., & Valente, M. (1997). Development of a clinical protocol in attempt to improve user satisfaction with hearing aids. Seminars in Hearing, 18(1), 19–28.
Outcomes with hearing aids: State of the art. In B. E. Weinstein (Ed.), Seminars in Hearing. New York: Thieme.
 HATS, which include but are not limited to assistive listening devices (ALDs), represent a wider array of accessibility options.
 Although cochlear implants clearly constitute a relevant hearing assistive technology, the technology, fitting, and rehabilitative procedures and the population served differ sufficiently as to warrant a separate body of requisite knowledge and skills. Hence, although cochlear implants are included herein as a relevant category of hearing technology with which students should become familiar, separate documents (e.g. ASHA's 1986 technical report, Cochlear Implants) specifically and more fully outline the competencies required to provide cochlear implant services.
Index terms: curriculum, assistive technology, graduate programs
Reference this material as: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2000). Guidelines for graduate education in amplification [Guidelines]. Available from www.asha.org/policy.
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